Defense Management: DOD Needs to Establish Clear Goals and Objectives, Guidance, and a Designated Budget to Manage Its Biometrics Activities
GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE WASHINGTON DC
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DOD began to take actions to better manage its dispersed biometrics activities in 2000, but as of August 2008, it had not established management practices that include clearly defined goals and objectives, implementing guidance that clarifies decision-making procedures for the Executive Committee, and a designated biometrics budget. First, while DOD has stated some general goals for biometrics, such as providing comprehensive planning policy in several documents such as the November 2005 Department of Defense Biometrics Strategy, it has not articulated specific program objectives, the steps needed to achieve those objectives, and the priorities, milestones, and performance measures needed to gauge results. DOD officials said that in late 2008 they plan to complete studies that will lay the foundation for the eventual development of a formal biometrics program. Second, DOD issued a directive in 2008 to establish biometrics policy and assigned general responsibilities to the Executive Committee and the Principal Staff Assistant but has not issued implementing guidance that clarifies decision-making procedures for policy and management issues. The Executive Committee is chaired by the Principal Staff Assistant and includes a wide array of representatives from DOD communities such as intelligence, acquisitions, networks and information integration, personnel, and policy and the military services. The Executive Committee is responsible for resolving biometrics management issues, such as issues between the military services and joint interests resulting in duplications of effort. However, the committee does not have guidance for making decisions that can resolve management issues.
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